The government requires a license for the import of firearms, pharmaceutical products, petroleum products, plant and plant products, and animal and animal products. Importers of pharmaceutical products must request an import permit from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. In addition, all pharmaceutical products imported to Haiti are subject to sanitary registration, required by the Ministry of Public Health. To satisfy these sanitary registration requirements, the Ministry of Public Health requires information regarding clinical studies, toxicology, and pharmaceutical certification from the country of origin. The Ministry also requests three product samples of each drug to be imported.
On June 23, 2021, the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) began allowing importers and distributors of pharmaceutical products to import the COVID-19 vaccine. Importers are required to share information about the composition, quantity, and expiration dates of the doses, as well as specifications on the equipment used to keep the vaccines refrigerated, among other data.
Importers of plant and plant products, animal and animal products must request an import permit from the office of Animal Quarantine and Control of Fishing and Agricultural Products (DQCSPAP in French).
Food products imported to Haiti require:
- The phytosanitary certificate/zoo sanitary certificate from the exporting country.
- Certificate of origin from the country of origin (farm included).
- An import permit from the Ministry of Agriculture, when required, is required for every shipment; the validity is for 15 days. Formal requests must be submitted to Agriculture Quarantine Division;
- Commercial invoice;
- Freight invoice;
- Bill of lading or Air Way Bill;
- Laboratory certificate, if required, from the country of origin;
- Certificate of weight and quality, if required, from the country of origin;
- Fumigation treatment certificate, if required, from the country of origin;
- Insurance certificate, if required, from the country of origin;
- Certificate of freeze, if required, from the country of origin;
Depending on the product, Haitian legislation requires that the manifest provide additional information, such as transport temperature, net weight or quantity and packaging type.
At the arrival port, the customs bureau (Administration Générale des Douanes - AGD) and Ministry of Commerce and Industry review the documentation to ensure that all requirements are met and if physical inspection is required. In addition, AGD confirms the customs classification and submits the customs value of the imported goods.
A physical inspection may be conducted by an inspector of the Office of Quarantine and Control of Fishing and Agricultural Products to verify the documents and control the status of imported goods. For live animals, the inspector may recommend fifteen days in quarantine before release of the animal. If the inspection reveals anything abnormal, the goods may be confiscated or returned to the exporting country.
Customs duties and taxes are required for goods clearance. The cost, insurance and freight (CIF) value of imported goods is used as a basis for the calculation of the import customs duties and taxes. Taxes include the verification fee (5 percent of CIF), value-added tax (10 percent of transaction value), Contribution to Territorial Collectivities Funds (2 percent of CIF, applicable for some food products), and Special Duty (1 percent of CIF). The payment of customs duties and taxes is collected by National Credit Bank (BNC in French), a state-owned enterprise.
Aside from engaging with the Customs office, the formalities for commercial imports prior to customs clearance in accordance with the law are:
- Payment and regular renewal of license and importer’s license
- A notice from the Ministry of Commerce for each order
- Certificate of Fiscal Completion or Discharge
- Duty-waiver Letter (a “franchise”) from the Ministry of the Economy and Finance (in case of donation or the importer holding a “franchise,” which is a waiver of import duties available under limited and specific circumstances)
The Customs office requires all importers fill out the customs declaration and submit the following documents for customs clearance:
- Declaration Prior to Import (DPI)
- Original Certificate of Verification (AV)
- Customs declaration
- Bill of lading
- Freight cost certificate
- List of products
- Commercial invoice
- Import permit, if required
- Zoo sanitary or phytosanitary certificate, if required
- Certificate of origin
- Laboratory certificate, if required
- Certificate of weight and quality, if required
- Fumigation treatment certificate, if required
- Insurance certificate, if required
- Certification that item has remained frozen, if required.